INM to auction art collection in Dublin
INDEPENDENT NEWS & Media is to sell its art collection at auction in Dublin next month because its new offices are “picture-unfriendly” on account of having a lot of glass.
Adam’s fine art auctioneers said INM’s collection had been consigned to its next major auction, on September 26th. Auctioneer James O’Halloran said the paintings had not been hung in INM’s new headquarters on Talbot Street, Dublin, because the building “has a lot of glass and is picture-unfriendly”.
Most of the paintings were bought by the Independent group in the 1970s and 1980s. They were displayed in the boardroom, management offices and editorial offices at Independent House, the former headquarters of the company.
Mr O’Halloran said the paintings – by artists including Basil Blackshaw, Carey Clarke, Patrick Collins, TP Flanagan and Martin Mooney – would be offered at “very affordable” prices with many valued at under €10,000. Some will have estimates beginning at €1,000.
The highlight will be a painting by the late Louis le Brocquy – who died in April – titled Procession With Lilies, which is expected to make at least €250,000.
The oil-on-canvas, dated 1984, measures 45 by 58 inches and was one of a series painted by le Brocquy inspired by an Evening Herald photograph of girls in First Communion dresses carrying white lilies. The photograph was in a press clipping, dated June 16th, 1939, sent to le Brocquy, then living in France, and captioned “Schoolgirls returning from church after the blessing of the lilies on the feast of St Anthony”.
The image is one of the best-known of le Brocquy’s and has been widely reproduced in prints.
The sale of the INM paintings is the latest in a series of disposals of corporate art collections by Irish companies since the economic crisis began in 2008.
Bank of Ireland has sold a substantial portion of its collection at auction. AIB has donated its collection to the State. The former Anglo Irish Bank has donated some paintings, and the infamous signage that hung above its headquarters building, to the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
Adam’s said INM’s art collection would go on public view at its St Stephen’s Green saleroom for four days next month before the auction.